By William Thompson: Quay County Sun
Tucumcari schools Superintendent William Reents said school board members have begun research into the possibility of instituting a four-day school week.
Reents said board members are reading various articles about the pros and cons of such a change.
“We are just in the preliminary stages of discussing the matter,” Reents said.
“If board members decide to continue with the process, then we would eventually conduct a feasibility study that would include public surveys and we would hold public meetings,” he said. “Plus it would be up to the state to decide if we could put a four-day week into place.”
Reents said he once worked for a school district in Colorado that ran on a four-day schedule.
”Really, there has been no study that says the four-day week has been detrimental to students,” he said. “The biggest problem with it is for parents that work five days a week. There is the problem of having to hire babysitters for the younger children. Even now, whenever I have to call off school for a day, parents call me to ask me what they are supposed to do with their children.”
Lynn Hudson, a teacher at Tucumcari High School and president of the Tucumcari Education Association, said she thinks the four-day week idea is bad in some ways and good in others.
“The problem with the four-day week is that it leaves unsupervised young people at home while their parents are at work,” Hudson said. “I’m not sure that’s best for the community. Of course, personally, I’d love to have an extra day off to catch up with appointments and errands around town.”
Hudson said a survey has been issued to school employees.
“The survey includes a question about the four-day week,” Hudson said. “We should be getting those surveys back in the near future.”
Desiree Martinez, a freshman student at the high school, said she would welcome the four-day week, but not because she dislikes going to school.
“It would give me more time for my hobbies and playing basketball,” Martinez said. “We would still get a full education. It would give me more time to work on my homework.”
Reents said a four-day week would provide big financial savings for the school district.
“You wouldn’t have to run buses on that off day and you could save money on electricity,” he said, “All those hourly workers would not be getting paid that day either.”